Type of Fellowship: General
Year of Fellowship: 2014
What have you been up to in the last few months been, Stuart?
I've been on secondment at the Neurological Alliance which has been a great learning opportunity. It was an eye opener in regard to the state of neurological services in this country and a crash course in policy work. I could easily see myself wanting to move fields at some point! I've played around with ‘action experiment’ as part of my Systems Thinking workshops and this is helped me move my Fellowship research piece along. I've also decided to save some of my coaching for the end of the Fellowship to help me work out how to keep learning and developing past the end of the programme.
What has been your greatest challenge?
Having recently been on secondment and the biggest challenge was letting go of my day job at Breast Cancer Now. As we’ve just merged and everyone is still finding their feet, I was concerned I may be losing out on getting started. However, I kept in touch and resolved to throw myself back into things when I return, allowing me to focus on the secondment. Returning to Breast Cancer Now has been fantastic, the everyone’s really pulled together to make the merger a success, treating my return as if I was starting a new job, which in reality it is, has allowed me to settle back in and see things in a different light.
How has your leadership been having an impact on those you work with or for?
I have been working with the Neurological Alliance on creating a national strategy for improving neurological services. I have kick started the process and I am really pleased to be leaving them with a draft strategy to build upon.
In what way you are a better leader now than at the start of the Fellowship?
I spend time wondering about whether I care about something before spending energy in dealing with it, there was a lot of opportunity to practice this during the merger! I think I am much better at seeing things through other people's eyes, again, handy in a merger.
Tell us about an important lesson you’ve learnt so far.
From my secondment I have learned that small organisations can achieve a lot by being smart about what work they take on and having key allies they can rely on.
How have you been inspired by your fellow Fellows?
Gemma (Rocyn Jones) has also been on secondment recently looking at financial models for social enterprise drug discovery and repurposing. We had a fantastic Skype conversation and resolved that if this is something we are both interested in - her from the social enterprise side and myself from the medical side - then we should get our heads together. Indeed Gemma is getting involved in my Fellowship research piece about the future of medical research, so watch this space!
Current principal role: Assistant Director - Research and Strategy
Current principal organisation: Breast Cancer Now
Research: Exploring the future of medical research: An example and guide on how to generate Foresight regarding the future of UK medical research
Secondment host: Neurological Alliance